Together We Belong reunites siblings living in separate foster care homes. Reunions provide an opportunity for togetherness celebrating missed birthdays, making memories and learning coping skills. The activities our youth experience help them build childhood memories that will last a lifetime.
Who: Foster youth
Where: Downtown Anaheim Community Center
250 Center Street
We had another successful Amazing Race OC fundraiser on May 10th at the Irvine Park Outdoor Education Center! Thank you to everyone who made the day so fun and inspirational. Fifteen teams, comprised of businesses, individuals, students, and foster youth, competed in Archery, BB Gun, Zip Line, Obstacle Course, Marble Roll and Dodgeball events. Although we had fewer teams compete because of conflicts with the Mother’s Day weekend, we raised as much money as last year to send foster siblings to Camp to Belong this summer! New York Life, once again, generously provided all the teams and volunteers with a wonderful BBQ lunch at the conclusion of the event.
Overall winners were Moira Hummel’s The Avengers for most points and Carol Lutz’s Wear the Fox Hat team for most money raised (over $7,500). We wish to express our sincere gratitude to the mothers and daughters of National Charity League, Inc. (Laguna and Orange/Villa Park Chapters) who staffed the entire event. Most of all, thank you to all our sponsors, teams and supporters!
Save the date for next year’s Amazing Race OC, May 2nd!
For the second year in a row, the J.F. Shea Center hosted the campers on November 24th for a reunion to kick off the Holiday Season. Once again, The Shea Center’s staff and volunteers created a fun event that will provide lasting memories for our foster youth. The siblings were treated to horseback rides, barn tours, and the feeding and grooming of the horses. The Laguna Chapter of National Charity League, Inc., provided volunteers who painted faces, helped with crafts and card making and served lunch to the 150 campers, counselors, and volunteers attending. The Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OCSPCA) came with ten dogs who provided the campers with an outlet for love and support.
Camp Director, Tricia Tiner, and her dedicated team of volunteer counselors led the foster youth through the various activities and ensured an enjoyable time was had by all of the campers. As a final surprise, Santa arrived on horseback with a gift for each of the siblings. Their pictures were taken with Santa and together they opened their gifts. Cindy Roe and Marcia Pontoni generously worked over the past couple of weeks collecting and wrapping the gifts.
Over 100 foster care siblings participated in the fifth annual Camp To Belong Orange County, sponsored by the Eddie Nash Foundation. Camp To Belong Orange County was held July 29th thru August 3rd 2013 at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center. It was a resounding success as the siblings, separated in foster care placement, were reunited for a week of togetherness. The highlight for many was the Birthday Party, when they gave each other presents and decorated a shared cake. The symbolic celebrating of missed birthdays is one of the many activities the Camp does to support the sibling bond and create lifelong memories. In addition, the campers make pillows and quilts for each other and a scrapbook of the week’s adventures together.
This year we welcomed a new Camp Director, Tricia Tiner. Tricia was already an active member of the team prior to taking the lead and had participated in prior camps in Orange County as well as other locations. She and her core team did a wonderful job making the Camp a success and we look forward to her continued involvement in 2014.
The Eddie Nash Foundation was especially grateful for all of the community support this year. Just to name a few: FunServices provided a fantastic carnival for the campers to enjoy. The OCSPCA Canine Literacy Program created a unique experience for the younger campers by having them sit and read with therapy dogs. CSU Fullerton hosted the foster youth (ages 13-18) for a tour and discussion about college.
The Laguna Chapter of National Charity League, a mother/daughter service organization, sponsored Inspiration Night as well as provided the volunteer support for the week. Inspiration Night also included a dynamic and inspiring talk by Sharaud D. Moore of the Freedom Writers Foundation. As the campers were leaving, one young boy summed up the experience by saying that the best thing about Camp is “being with my brother”.
SATURDAY, APRIL 13TH 2013
FROM 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM
A VERY SPECIAL CAMP TO BELONG EVENT At The Aquarium Of The Pacific
Call & RSVP
Space is LIMITED to the FIRST 50 Camp To Belong Campers!
Transportation to and from the Aquarium Of The Pacific will be provided by the Eddie Nash Foundation located at:
1717 W. Orangewood Avenue, Suite I Orange 92868
Be sure to include camper name(s), caregiver name and phone number.
We will contact you as soon as possible to confirm participation.
Tricia Tiner: (951) 623-7681
The Eddie Nash Foundation, in ties to Camp to Belong Orange County, was nothing more than a blessing to volunteer for. The cause was all selfless, and in my eyes, that made me want to work harder.
To put on such a big “show,” you cannot do it alone. Volunteer teams are so important. Going into this project, I would have thought that our group could do it all on their own. Five people can only stretch only so far. The non-profit executive board was of great help because of their communication daily. They aided in assigning us projects, as well as, positive reinforcement. There were different school teams from both Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Long Beach. They helped in dividing up different tasks so that we could be overall more successful.
Our goal for this exclusive “A Night under the Stars” Wine Tasting Event is not to have as many guests as possible, but rather, we intend on making this a feel-good, cozy, and relaxing night to be in one another’s company where we will give recognition to those who have donated time and service and to gain awareness for a cause.
To say that this event was beyond successful would be an understatement. The amount of guests compared to last year nearly doubled. Next year, we expect to have to move venues due to lack of space for the continuing growth. All because of events like these, we have been given the opportunity to reunite siblings separated by the adoption system and to change their lives while away at summer camp.